What is Family Child Care really all about?
When you think of Family Child Care programs, what comes to mind? Perhaps you used to know someone who ran a program out of their refurbished basement out in the suburbs? Or maybe you remember a grandmotherly figure in the neighborhood who took care of a handful of local toddlers? Many parents today either attended such a program as a child or have a vague notion that they existed.
In 2018 the childcare landscape has shifted. And Family Child Care is changing as well.
So what about a ten-year veteran of Montessori preschools who wanted to strike out on her own so she could connect more deeply with a smaller group of children and teach the curriculum of her dreams?
Or how about a young woman with a Master's degree in marine biology who discovered that she really loves teaching young children to appreciate the natural world?
Or what about the awesome 1st grade teacher who now has two kids of her own and has decided she'd rather stay home, raise her kids herself, and share her talents with a few very lucky neighbors?
Family Child Care is ultimately about the Educator and the Educator's connection with the children and parents in their program.
The in-home model puts relationships first, and allows the Educator to focus on the individual needs of each child in their program. Educators design a program that matches their educational philosophy and leverages their experience and expertise; so an Educator with experience in elementary orchestra can include a musical component in her program, while just a few blocks away a Colombian woman can offer a play-based Spanish immersion program. This beautiful diversity of programs reflects the amazing array of backgrounds that Educators bring to their programs.
As an Educator, opening a licensed Family Child Care program represents an opportunity to earn a livable income. By removing the expensive facilities and administrative staff of center-based programs, in-home Educators can charge lower tuition and still make more money. This is critically important - as a society we need to value and compensate the professionals who care for our children during the work day. We cannot afford to lose more Educators who have been leaving the field because they cannot make ends meet working in center-based programs.
Today its clear that we need more high-quality childcare programs in our neighborhoods. The Family Child Care model prioritizes Educators and children over facilities and corporate profits. Children get all the socialization of preschool but with better ratios and greater continuity of care, parents connect directly with the Educator. Educators are empowered with a sustainable business. It's a win-win-win, and at the end of the day, that's what our neighborhoods need.
Want to learn more about the Family Child Care model? Contact us today.